Government and Zanu PF Accused of Greed in Elephant Meat Distribution
7 July 2024
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Residents of Beitbridge expressed outrage on Monday over the distribution of elephant meat, alleging that government officials and members of the ruling Zanu PF party unfairly claimed the majority of the meat for themselves.

The controversy unfolded after Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Parks Authority) rangers euthanized two elephants at a council farm along the Limpopo River, citing safety concerns due to the animals’ proximity to the town.

According to eyewitnesses, the discord erupted when local residents were invited early in the morning to help skin and collect the meat from the elephants. However, tensions rose when government officials and council members reportedly arrived later in the day, commandeering a significant portion of the meat.

“We heard that the meat was being gathered for all civil servants and council officials. They came and loaded most of it into their trucks, leaving very little for those of us who had done the hard work of preparing the meat,” a resident told NewsDay Weekender.

Social media platforms buzzed with criticism from Beitbridge residents, condemning what they saw as an unfair distribution of the elephant meat.

“Taking advantage of their positions, government officials and even a vehicle from Zanu PF swooped in and took the lion’s share, leaving ordinary citizens with scraps,” another resident lamented.

Critics argued that the elephants had encroached into urban areas due to human settlement expansion, leading to sporadic conflicts and raids in Beitbridge East.

Parks Authority spokesperson Tinashe Farawo defended the decision to euthanize the elephants, emphasizing public safety concerns.

“We had to eliminate the elephants to protect residents, as they had become aggressive and were posing a danger,” Farawo stated.

Beitbridge, predominantly accustomed to wildlife encounters such as hippos and crocodiles, seldom deals with elephants venturing so close to town.

Albert Nguluvhe, a legislator representing Beitbridge East, denounced the perceived misconduct by government and Zanu PF officials.

“If true, this is unacceptable behavior, particularly when food is politicized. It’s important that transparency is maintained in such matters,” Nguluvhe commented.

The incident has sparked broader discussions among residents about wildlife management and equitable distribution of resources in Beitbridge, a town grappling with both economic challenges and occasional wildlife intrusions.